Changes around town
As we landed here a week and a half ago, the biggest noticable change to the landscape around station was this white behemoth dominating the Dark Sector.
The new 10 meter South Pole Telescope is as tall as a seven story building and was erected over the summer. It was pretty amazing to come back and see this new veritable sky scraper looming in the distance. SPT is going to be gazing into the very distant universe trying to detect cosmic microwave background radiation that is evidence of the Big Bang.
Another change around here is that most of the windward side of the Elevated Station B pod has been clad in the finishing paneling and that the bottom of the building has had the slope added to it which in theory should funnel the blowing snow under and out from the building.
Here's what it looked like a year ago:
And in March 2005:
Every the New Year's Day the actual geographic pole marker for 90 degrees south latitude is relocated because the ice sheet that we sit on moves about 30 feet a year. Now the actual pole is closer to the ceremonial pole (which didn't get relocated this year) and the sign honoring Amundsen and Scott got turned around so that it all makes for a better photo.
Notre Dame has gargoyles but South Pole has its own icons.
This trophy from a whole roasted pig of some past feast is hanging above the outside entrance door to the Elevated Station's Vertical Tower, or Beer Can as everyone calls it.
And the last two remaining members of the winter crew arrived today.
It was a happy reunion with Brien, who managed to land a winter contract just two weeks ago.
So let the winter begin!